Alan Brinkley is the Allan Nevins Professor of History at Columbia University, where he has taught since 1991. He served as University Provost from 2003 to 2009 and as chair of the Department of History from 2000 to 2003. In 1998–99, he was the Harmsworth Professor of American History at Oxford University.

His published works include Voices of Protest: Huey Long, Father Coughlin, and the Great Depression (Knopf, 1982), which won the 1983 National Book Award; The Unfinished Nation: A Concise History of the American People (McGraw-Hill, 1992 and subsequent editions); The End of Reform: New Deal Liberalism in Recession and War (Knopf, 1995); Liberalism and Its Discontents (Harvard University Press, 1998); Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Oxford University Press, 2009); and The Publisher: Henry Luce and His American Century (Knopf, 2010).

His essays, articles, and reviews have appeared in scholarly journals and in such periodicals as the New York Review of Books, the New Yorker, the New York Times Book Review, the New York Times Magazine, the New Republic, Time, Newsweek, the Atlantic, Harper’s, Vanity Fair, the Times Literary Supplement, and the London Review of Books.

He was the recipient of the Joseph R. Levenson Memorial Teaching Prize at Harvard in 1987 and the Great Teacher Award at Columbia in 2003. He is a trustee of the National Humanities Center and a trustee of Oxford University Press. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

He received his AB from Princeton and his PhD from Harvard. He lives in New York City.